To mark World Mental Health Day 2019 on Thursday, a football tournament was held at Prenton Park’s Recreation Centre in partnership with Wirral Ways to Recovery and Tranmere Rovers In the Community.
Also in attendance for the tournament were A New Approach, Knowsley CGL, and Spider Project.
Wirral Ways to Recovery provides drug and alcohol users with fast and easy to access treatment and support, with regular football sessions held weekly by Tranmere Rovers In the Community (TRIC).
Ray Smith, from Wirral Ways to Recovery, said: “We’ve come together today because of World Mental Health Day, we have brought agencies from around Merseyside, the Wirral and Tameside, and a lot of the lads playing have had problems with mental health.
“We get together once a week at Tranmere through Wirral Ways, and we try our hardest to keep the lads on the straight and narrow, and it helps with their mental health and their physical health.”
Shaun Garnett, Tranmere Rovers’ first-team defensive coach, shared his own personal story, and says that’s Rovers’ work in the Wirral community is important.
He added: “It is a great cause, and it’s a cause that I fully back through my brother being mentally ill, he was diagnosed with bipolar in 2003 so if it is something that I can support through my job, I’ll always do it.
“Tranmere do great work, Steve and all the rest of the gang in the community, they work extremely hard, whether it be mental health or Alzheimer’s, whatever it may be, and whatever cause it may be, it just highlights it and attracts a little bit of attention, so if people end up coming and it helps them, well then it’s a worthwhile exercise.”
Liam Elliott, Wirral Ways to Recovery participant, explained how sessions at Tranmere Rovers has helped him make new friends.
Liam said: “I’ve always been a lover of football, and I’ve got anxiety, depression, paranoia and schizophrenia, and it’s a great way to come and meet new friends, I’d rather be out than sitting in on my own and it gets us all out and about.”
The Club’s staff have a planned training with Mind Charity. This is ongoing.
To learn more about TRIC and the work that they do, please CLICK HERE.